Family and Community Services’ 2016-17 Budget

On the left, white text in a light blue box, reading Budget 2016-17. On the right, six images arranged in a two by three grid, of various people

Children, young people and families

FACS is investing $40 million in 2016–17 ($190 million over four years) reforming the out-of-home care system and will target evidence-based family preservation and restoration programs. Children deserve a forever family and we will provide this by looking to internationally proven, evidence-based programs that help families stay together where it is safe to do so. We will restore children and increase the number of children who exit care through open adoption, rather than a life in foster care.

In 2016–17, we are going to significantly change the way we work with vulnerable families so we can help children have better lives. We want to reduce the number of children entering out-of-home care and direct resources towards intensive family preservation and restoration, applying a suite of international evidence-based models. We are investing $190 million over four years to help a range of organisations deliver intensive therapeutic programs to prevent out-of-home care entries, increase exits and improve placement stability for children in care.

Social housing

The NSW Government will provide $6.1 million in 2016–17 to support the first phase of operations of the $1.1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF). Phase 1 of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund will deliver 3,000 additional social and affordable homes for approximately 5,000 people over four years. People living in these homes will be able to access support, helping them become more independent and, where feasible, move out of social housing.

The NSW Government aims to break the cycle of disadvantage in social housing with the major reform strategy – Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW. The previous system was developed in the 1940s for working families with low incomes, while today’s system supports the most vulnerable people in our community. The reform will transform the current system through three key pillars: more homes, better experiences and more opportunities.

Disability support

The 2016–17 Budget provides $1.3 billion for the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), a once-in-a-generation reform that replaces the current NSW disability support system and will improve the lives of people with disability. From 1 July 2016, the NDIS will be rolled out across areas of Hunter New England that were not part of the Hunter trial, Southern NSW, Central Coast, Northern Sydney, South Western Sydney, Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains.

It is estimated that 40,000 people with disability will be able to access the NDIS in 2016–17. When the NDIS is fully implemented by 2018, it will support around 140,000 people with disability, an increase of 64,000, as well as create an additional 25,000 to 30,000 jobs in the disability services sector. The NDIS will give people with disability real choice and control over their lives. They will be able to make choices about the supports they require and the providers that will deliver them.